July 4, 2022


Education The Solution

Honor those who suffered enslavement and recognize the power of education

Quite a few several years ago, I had the opportunity to take a look at Ghana on the west coastline of Africa, a state whose historical past is permanently joined to the United States by means of, amid other motives, the Cape Coast Castle.

Originally developed by slave traders in the mid-1600s, the Castle held captured Africans until their compelled relocation to the Americas. As an African American, lots of rigorous feelings arrived about me touring the Castle, which includes enthusiasm, sadness and a motivation to persevere. An especially profound feeling was a connection to the legacy of the hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans who caught the past glances of their homeland as they passed by means of the Castle’s “Door of No Return” and on to slavers’ ships. My link to this legacy has determined me as a individual and an educator and is one particular cause why Juneteenth has a profound indicating for me.

Cape Coast Castle is a fortress utilised to confine Africans in Ghana before they ended up delivered overseas in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Amongst 1513 and the stop of the 19th century, when the slave trade finished, some 24 million Africans were being delivered to the Americas by English, Portuguese, French and Dutch traders.

As an educator from Princeville, North Carolina—the oldest town integrated by Black people in the United States—I grew up being familiar with Juneteenth as a celebration of liberty, as properly as a reminder that equality in The us is nevertheless a do the job in development. Despite my awareness of the limitations keeping many Americans back, one particular of the finest lessons from rising up in Princeville was not of division, but that Individuals have much additional in frequent than not.

I was reminded of our shared American practical experience previous 7 days at a expert conference with colleagues from numerous ethnic and spiritual backgrounds. Irrespective of our variations, the adore for humanity, curiosity and education and learning we shared as People in america was a strong bond by which I was impressed and energized. And just as we have in common these “Ups,” we also share the “Downs,” no issue our race, creed or religion.

The pains we experience from reduction, sickness or setbacks, the anger from injustice or unkindness, the anxiety we truly feel from the not known, modify or risk—these transcend our discrepancies also. Whilst we can not generally avert them from occurring, we can command how we react to them. In the previous, I puzzled why slavery transpired, but nowadays I opt for to concentrate on what I can control—my reaction to its legacy.

View: Juneteenth celebrates physical freedom, now learners want instructional emancipation

In accordance to the Council on Postsecondary Education, schooling attainment is trending up for the condition of Kentucky – 43.6% in 2015 to 49.4% in 2019 – with 10 counties statewide doing higher than 40% attainment. Having said that, 24 counties are much less than 20% attainment, for persons with associate levels or higher. Even more, The Lumina Basis studies a 28.6% attainment fee for African Individuals in Kentucky.

With aims to attain 60% attainment by 2030, we need to first increase the quantity of Kentuckians who enroll in postsecondary applications and earn credentials past higher school. This effort and hard work starts off with a terrific concentrate on inclusion and equitable access to education and learning – at all ranges – and especially with put up-secondary training, which frequently arrives with obstacles to obtain, this kind of as overall flexibility, cost and extra.

I am happy to do the job for a larger education and learning institution that recognizes Juneteenth as a holiday getaway for its personnel and embodies a mission of empowering folks to tear down barriers by attaining know-how. In delivering accessible, affordable and profession-advancing schooling geared to the requirements and lifestyle activities of grownup learners, we can aid people today attain the freedom that is at the coronary heart of Juneteenth’s importance.

Sign up for me today in honoring all those who endured enslavement, celebrating independence and individuals who labored to attain it and who, nowadays, overcome barriers by acquiring an training that can help them transfer up into much better, brighter futures. We are lucky not to have experienced to pass by way of the “Door of No Return,” but we can do our very own portion to make the legacy of these who did far more than just just one of enslavement, but also, now, one of prospect in pursuit of equality.

Dr. K.L. Allen

Dr. K.L. Allen

Dr. K.L. Allen, a regional director for online, nonprofit Western Governors University, is a veteran of the Military National Guard with close to two decades of increased education and learning knowledge targeted on business enterprise operations and veteran affairs.

This short article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Juneteenth: The electrical power of education and learning to crack down boundaries in Kentucky